NEREUS General Assembly 2023 was held on 20th April from 09.00-13.30 at the premises of the NEREUS-secretariat in Brussels (Representation of the State of Hessen to the EU). The network welcomed 50 participants and space experts approximately including regional and political representatives, EU representatives, industry and academia. This first General Assembly took place 3 years after the pandemic, and for this reason, the Network decided to offer its members the opportunity to have a festive exchange on recent developments concerning the regional dimension of the EU space policy, current trends in space projects and programmes for the regions and discuss the many advantages for the regions coming from the use of EU space applications and services! Ms Roya Ayazi, NEREUS Secretary General, moderated the General Assembly and presented successful outcomes and an outlook of the next activities of the Network. Mr Thierry Cotelle, NEREUS President shared his introductory speech with the audience.
Furthermore, the programme was enriched with presentations from EU/ESA representatives and regional representatives sharing their positive experience with regional space uses. (please click on the names to download the presentation, in the next few days more presentations. More images will be available following your individual request).
As a keynote speaker Christoph Kautz, Deputy Director, DG Defis, gave an introduction to the new EU-flagship initiative, IRIS², the Union’s Secure Connectivity Programme and its impact on public authorities, regions, territories and cohesion in Europe on behalf of the European Commission. Alessandra Tassa, ESA project responsible, shared her vision on the new edition of Copernicus4regions highlighting the significant role of Copernicus in regional development and the key contribution of regions in shaping the programme.
Next, Lucio Bernardini from the Basilicata region highlighted the key aspects of the next NEREUS European Regional Symposium ‘Space data for tourism and agriculture’ to be organised in Basilicata, Italy and invited member regions to join.
Salvina Sist, Carlo Masetto, and Silvano De Zorzi from the Veneto region emphasized the region’s noteworthy contribution and dedication to the Earth Observation field, showcased through the establishment of the Earth Observation Working Group and the Interreg project launch. The EO WG as part of NEREUS internal affairs represents a group of space experts that can support the Network activities with their expertise and knowledge.
Federico Bastarolo from the Veneto region and Margarita Chrysaki from NEREUS explained that the SATSDIFACTION project as part of the Interreg programme aims at promoting the exchange and transfer of experiences related to the use of Satellite Data in local and regional Spatial Data Infrastructures as a mean to improve the performance of regional policy instruments.
The annual event concluded with the statutory affairs and the election of the new NEREUS management board (link).
Before the General Assembly, a Management Board meeting was held on the 19th of April during which a Memorandum of Understanding was ceremoniously signed between the NEREUS and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), an inter-governmental organisation with the objective to improve awareness and understanding of CAMS (Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service) and C3S (Copernicus Climate Change Service) services at the regional level.